Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My First Music Video

Not the first I star in, that will come in due time. But the first video I can remember dancing around the living room to was Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The song and video were released in 1987. I was 8 years old and so wanted to be Whitney Houston when I grew up! The totally awesome 80s dresses, makeup and jewelry- I was hooked. Being a grown up never looked so cool. Nevermind the lyrics about the call of loneliness and feeling the heat from somebody; I danced and sung my heart out.

Then the music stopped. And I don’t just mean from Whitney. But seriously, crack is wack and she never should’ve done that. I still hope the rumors about a new cd are true and she’s back on track. The music in my house stopped in 1989 because my dad caught the Madonna video for “Express Yourself.” I suppose the video was a bit inappropriate for children with Madonna busting out her best Michael Jackson crotch grabbing moves not to mention the half naked men throughout the video. Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted Snake” debuted the same year. Which in my mind, was worse. And not just because she was (and is) seriously lacking in vocal talent. I have an older sister who would plead with our dad to let us watch. The dad also had to go to work so fear not we saw it all. Where was my mom during all of this? Who knows? I mean really, your guess is as good as mine. Ha, I kid. She would tell us she didn’t care for it, but if the video wasn’t too bad and she could read the paper and have a cup of tea while we were some-what quiet, then it was a win-win for all. We could go to school knowing all the moves to “Hangin’ Tough” and my mom could go to work and know world and local events.

As the years passed, my dad still tried to ban VH-1 and MTV from the house. Sometimes he would be sitting at the dining room table trying to read the paper and couldn’t “concentrate because of the loud crap coming out of the TV.” Really. Mom always managed. He would yell, “Turn that HV-1 crap off.” We would, and then go back to the channel if it was a video we loved. Defiant, weren’t we? He would remind us that he told us to turn it off and we’d cleverly point out he said HV-1 so we were confused by what he meant. We never won that battle. That was a dumb play by us. That was the argument that got us kicked out of the living room. We were told to use the stereo, walkman, discman, boombox (yes, and he calls jeans dungarees) …whatever the parents spent money on that Christmas that cost money, played music and we insisted we had to have.

These days he just hates the music channels and says he hates them. Still calls it crap and still says to get it off his TV. I’d like to say we matured and know to keep it off because he is the father and he deserves respect, but really the channels no longer show music videos unless it’s at some crazy hour. So it’s rare he gets to complain and rare we get to see videos. Which makes me wonder, do the Jonas Brothers, Hannah Miley Cyrus Montana and the likes even make music videos? Are they just streamed online? Do parents yell at their kids to turn down the computer speakers? Kids can’t use headphones and listen to the music via computers because how would one dance around the living room? So many questions. So little time. I know I'd rather be spending mine dancing around using my hairbrush as a microphone.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Two Flights up in Fiction/Literature

This morning I read about CW ordering a pilot based on the Zoey Dean book "How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls." The book is about a recent Yale graduate who loses her job, rather quickly, at a tabloid magazine and gets a gig tutoring two rich heiresses in Palm Beach. All goes well and she can get her 75 grand student loan debt taken care of. However the high school heiresses are like Paris and Lindsay so getting them to score high on the SATs and do well in their classes isn't going to be easy. Lucky me, I just finished a book and I am in need of a light read before picking up a new book this weekend. I know the name Zoey Dean and know her books are similar to "Gossip Girl" books. At least I think they are. I know she has a teen series out there and the covers are similar to all of the other teen series covers. Yes, I'm judging books by covers. I also read the first page and a half of a book and then pick a page at random, usually more towards the front of the book, and read a few sentences. It's how I choose a book if I've picked one up that I haven't seen in a review or heard anyone mention. Most of the time my strategy works.

Where was I? Right. CW pilot. I went to Barnes and Noble during lunch. On the way I walked by that electric fountain thing they have at Rockefeller. It's ummm large. I think I need to see it at night and then I'll find it cool and interesting. And then there I am at the bookstore and I go right downstairs to the teen section. I can't find the book. It's from July 2007, but it's not part of any of the Dean series so I'm thinking it's sold out. Waste of time. I could be at work enjoying lunch and watching Flight of the Conchords with the coworkers. I decide to ask a sales person, just in case it's on a clearance table or something. I'm told it's two flights up in fiction and literature. I suddenly feel better about buying the book! I mention that to the sales girl and she doesn't react so either she's insulted because she loves The A List Series or she just lacks a personality.

I'm about 50 pages into the book and while calling it literature is a stretch, it is a good book. The protagonist is so far likable. The writing is smart and hip. I think a decent show can be made based on this book. It's being done by Alloy Entertainment ("Gossip Girl") with Rina Mimoun as the Exec Producer/Creator. Rina has written for Gossip, Everwood and even an episode of Gilmore Girls, along with other things. I'm not the targeted demo, but if it's good, I'll watch.

Time seems to be flying by. We are already in March. I don't want to rush the month but I can't wait for March 24th. Greek and The Hills return. Woo!